Gallery – Luton Town

1889/90

I discovered at Wardown Park Museum the oldest known team photo, below, from the 1889/90 season.  Obtaining an exact date for the photo has been difficult because none of the team line-ups in the newspapers match the men in the photograph.

In order to date the photograph I took into account a number of factors.  The players have red shirts so it was taken after September 1889.  E.H. Lomax played his last reported game on 4th October 1890.  The forward line during the 1889/90 season was fairly consistent with the Whitby’s, J.C. Lomax, Deacon and Miller making up the front five – all of whom are in this photo.   Thomas Read is the goalkeeper wearing the same kit as the outfield players.  Quite a few backs and half-backs were tried that season – here we have the Hoy and Sanders partnership which later became a regular one.  Two of the half-backs are Arthur Taylor and E.H. Lomax.  The other half-back is a mystery at the moment.  It was a problem position and the team line ups show that Miller, Moody, Wright, Harry Whitby and Thring were all tried in that position.  George Humphrey also featured regularly.

Luton Town 1889:90

The players are;

Back row:- Albert Sanders, Alfred “Jack” Hoy, Ernest Herbert Lomax, Thomas Read and Unknown

Middle row:- Frank Whitby, John Charles “Charlie” Lomax, George “Chubby” Deacon and Arthur Holey Taylor.

Front row:- Harry Whitby and Walter Frederick Miller

The players are in their cardinal red shirts.  Five players appear to be wearing red caps with two players wearing caps with hoops (possibly from the pink and navy blue kit).  Note the differing knickers, Sanders’ snake belt (which were often in club colours), shin pads outside the stockings and bars instead of studs.

Thanks to Wardown Park Museum, part of Luton Culture.

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1891/92

Luton Town 1891:92

Back row: Isaac Smith (Hon. Secretary), Albert Sanders, John Burley, Alfred “Jack” Hoy, Frank Pitkin (Committee member)

Middle row: J. Wright, Horace “Hod” Paul, Arthur Holey Taylor

Front row: Frank Whitby, George Deacon, Herbert W. Oclee, William Chesher, Harry Whitby.

Sanders and the Whitby brothers are wearing medals.  One (the shield) is the runners-up medal for the Kettering Charity Cup 1890.  The Whitby’s wear another medal which I have not been able to identify.  They both played for Harpenden for a time so may have won a medal with them.  They were also excellent runners but it seems unlikely they would have worn an athletics medal for this photo.  Oclee appear to be the only player wearing studs.

Thanks to Roger Wash.

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1892/93

Luton Town 1892:93

Apologies for the quality of this photo.  It is taken from the microfilm image of the Pictorial from 1937.  It is doubtful that the negative survives to get a better copy.

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1893/94

Photo LTFC 1893-94 2

Back row: George Deacon (Trainer), Harry Whitby, Edmund “Teddy” Bee, William Chesher, S. Wright (trainer)

Middle row: Joseph “Connie” Watkins, John William Julian, Arthur Holey Taylor, unknown

Front row: William “Tip” Brown, John Finlayson, Hugh “Gally” Galbraith, Fred Allen, Walter Dimmock.

The trophy is the Luton Charity Cup – see the article of the same name in the Library.

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1894/95

Luton Town 1894:95

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1895/96

Retouched team photo

Back row: George Deacon (trainer), M.D. Nicholson, John Jack, Jimmy McEwan, Bill Lawson (Trainer)

Middle row: Edwin Birch, William Stewart, J. Docherty,

Front row: William Gallacher, Parkinson, Hugh Galbraith, James Coupar, Frederick Ekins

This is the only photograph of the crowd at Dallow Lane so the earliest of Luton fans.  The grandstand was built in the winter of 1893/94.

The photograph above was taken before the end of the 1895/96 season.  As the club won the Luton Charity Cup for a second time, another photo, below, was taken, this time in the goalmouth of the Dallow Lane ground.  The houses in the background face onto Dunstable Road.

Luton Town 1895:96

There are 16 “hats” in the photo plus two trainers (Deacon and Lawson).  This is more than the number of men on the committee so a few hangers-on muscled in on the photo.  The players with stars on their shirts are;

Back row: Richard Williams

Middle row: John McCartney, Joseph Watkins, William Stewart, J. Docherty, Jimmy McEwan

Front row: William Gallacher, James Coupar, Hugh Galbraith, Edwin Birch, Frederick Ekins

John McCartney would become the club’s first manager in 1927.  Note the “foot racks” as they were known that the players are sitting on.  As Dallow Lane was an open field (except for the grandstand) these racks were placed around the pitch to keep people out of the mud.

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1896/97

Luton Town 1896:97

Luton Town 1896:97 - taken Feb 1897

We have three photos from the 1896/97 season and all show the team in white shirts.  Note the first photo is without the badge.  The middle photo, kindly provide by John Thurston, is taken from a slightly different angle to the first.  It also shows more of the crowd. The third photo was taken in February 1897 at Plumstead before a game with Woolwich Arsenal.  Note that Galbraith (seated centre) and Finlayson (seated far left) have hoops at the top of their stockings.

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1897/98

Luton Town 1898

Apologies for the quality of this photo.  I think it has been taken from a newspaper.  If you have a better quality copy please get in touch via the contact buton.

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1898/99

Luton Town 1898:99

Although the ball in the photo above says this is the 1898/99 team, the players are not wearing the first team shirts.  The club committee had changed colours to black with narrow white stripes, as shown in the photo below.

Luton Town 1898:99

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1899/00

Luton Town 1899:00

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1900/01

Luton Town 1900:01 2

The first team is shown above in the black and white striped shirt.  The official shirt colour adopted by the club for the 1900/01 season was pale blue but there is no known photo of the first team in that shirt.  The reserve team is shown below.

Luton Town 1900:01

The reserve team were very successful this season winning the Bedford and District League and the Beds Cup.  The other trophy is a mystery at the moment.

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No explanation is required for the inclusion of the photograph below;

Luton Town 1901:02

 Thanks to Roger Wash.